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DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

OFFICE, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (CIVIL WORKS)

ALTERNATIVE MECHANISMS FOR

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY CONSTRUCTION AND CONTRACT MANAGEMENT

A STATUS REPORT TO THE

VETERANS AFFAIRS AND HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

AND INDEPENDENT AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEES

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I.

CONGRESSIONAL DIRECTION AND CONCERNS

In Senate Report 103-311, accompanying Public Law 103327, the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies Appropriations • Act, 1995, the Senate Committee on Appropriations directed the Army to "propose a mechanism through which the Army Corps of Engineers could compete with other entities for the privilege of serving Arlington Cemetery." As the Committee stated,

The Committee believes that, through several major construction and maintenance projects over the last io years at Arlington Cemetery, the Army Corps of Engineers has not served the cemetery well in its management of contracts. The Committee directs the Army to propose a mechanism through which the Army Corps of Engineers could compete with other entities for the privilege of serving Arlington Cemetery. A report of these suggestions should be submitted to the Committee along

with the Fiscal Year 1996 budget. The Committee's concerns stemmed from cost increases requiring reprogramming of appropriations and implementation delays associated with several construction projects at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), which were managed by the Baltimore District of the Army Corps of Engineers.

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This status report suggests and evaluates three alternatives or mechanisms for broadening the range of choice available to the Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery in managing the design and construction of capital improvement projects at the cemetery:

Direct contracting with the private sector;

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Use of other federal agencies; and

Enhanced choice among Army Engineer Districts.

In evaluating these alternatives, consideration must be given to:

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Identifying necessary construction and contract
management functions that are inherently
Governmental in nature; and
Identifying legal, institutional and resource
constraints which may either limit the practicality
of a proposed alternative or at least inhibit rapid

implementation. Because these constraints can affect short and long run choices, they are discussed below (Section III) prior to a presentation of the alternatives (Section IV).

The report also describes steps which the Army has already initiated, in concert with ANC, to improve construction and contract management performance (Section V). These steps include an experiment which the Army is undertaking to broaden ANC's range of choice. Finally, the report concludes (Section VI) with the additional steps that may be necessary, depending on results of the experiment and the other actions underway, to address and resolve Congressional concerns.

III.

BACKGROUND ON FEDERAL CONSTRUCTION
AND CONTRACT MANAGEMENT PROCESS

ANC is one of many Army activities that does not have either the contracting authority or the personnel with the necessary skills to perform a full range of construction and contract management functions. Decisions to establish the capabilities to perform these functions within an Army activity are based on the size of the activity and its mission. Arlington Cemetery is a treasured national asset and ANC's mission has, therefore, great importance. Nonetheless, ANC's size, measured in budgetary terms, has not, in the past, justified developing the in-house capabilities to carry out all necessary government functions.

The Baltimore Army Engineer District is responsible for providing construction and contract management support services to ANC. In performing these functions, the Baltimore District provides planning, architectural!. engineering design, construction, real estate, and related services on a reimbursable basis as requested by ANC. The relationship, general procedures, and responsibilities under

which ANC and the Corps execute design and construction projects are specified in a 1988 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ANC and the Corps.

ANC also receives some services from the Military District of Washington (MDW). This includes occasional design and construction support for selected minor repair and maintenance projects, as well as support for contracted grounds maintenance work. Like ANC, MDW's resources are limited and, as currently constituted, MDW is not able to assume full responsibility for ANC's construction and contract management services, including those relating to planning and design of new facilities. In fact, MDW currently uses the Baltimore District for these functions as well.

On a typical ANC project, the Baltimore District performs, in-house, a dozen or so major functions. A list of the construction and contract management services typically performed by the Baltimore District on behalf of ANC is presented in Appendix A. This list is divided into two categories: functions that could be undertaken by the private sector; and activities that are considered to be inherently Governmental functions, based on guidance by the office of Federal Procurement Policy on this subject. Inherently governmental functions must be performed by Government personnel.

These functions are:

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Selecting an architect-engineer (A-E) firm
and negotiating A-E fees for planning and/or
design contracts in accordance with the
requirements of the Federal Acquisition
Regulation (FAR);

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Managing and administering A-E design
contracts;

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Preparing construction contract solicitations,
advertising for construction, receiving and
evaluating bids/proposals, and awarding
construction contracts in accordance with the FAR;
Providing oversight of the construction in
progress, assuring compliance with applicable
Federal statutes, such as the Davis-Bacon Act, Drug
Free workplace, etc;
Accepting work and making progress payments,
negotiating changes required by unforeseen site
conditions; and

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